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In Focus: The science behind penalties

As the dust settles on what was a mesmerising World Cup tournament, one word is lingering on the minds of fans around the world: Penalties.

We saw France restore their lead against Croatia on Sunday after Referee Nestor Pitana controversially awarded the first VAR-assisted World Cup final penalty. And of course we saw England win a World Cup penalty shoot-out for the first time since the format was introduced for the 1978 edition. In fact, a total of 29 penalties were...

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The 12-yard stare: Why is it so significant for England to win a penalty shoot-out?

By Alan Tonge, lecturer in sport research at the UCFB Etihad Campus

Alan is a former professional himself, having played for Manchester United and Exeter City, before he was forced to retire at the age of 24. He’s since gone into academia and has a Master of Philosophy in Sport Psychology. Alan is currently undertaking a PhD on ‘exploring critical moments, identity and meaning amongst professional football players’.

Mention the words “penalty shoot-out” to any diehard England fan and you’ll most probably receive...

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In Focus: Nostalgia the key to fans’ hearts

The Premier League and its mega millions has changed the football landscape beyond recognition since its inception in 1992. Huge television contracts have enabled it to become the most watched sports league in the world, opening up clubs to untapped markets of fanatical support.

While this is music to the ears of finance directors throughout the league, lifelong, and local, fans who support their team every week and feel their loyalty is taken for granted have found a new way to...

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In Focus: The challenge of recruiting unpaid directors for voluntary sport boards

By Josh McLeod, lecturer in BA (Hons) International Football Business at UCFB Wembley


Recruiting the next generation of directors is a prominent consideration for all sports entities. However, for sports organisations where crucial governance positions are unpaid, this function takes on even greater importance. Devoid of a capacity to remunerate their board members, many sports clubs and federations face significant challenges in attracting and retaining individuals with the requisite skills and knowledge to guide them towards success.

This article by Dr. Josh...

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In Focus: Football finances – ‘A square peg in a round hole’

By Ian Tomlinson, programme leader for BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance at UCFB Etihad Campus

Earlier this year I had the privilege of being invited to the EFL Finance Directors meeting, hosted by Wolverhampton Wanderers at their Molineux stadium. Following on from a presentation delivered by the EFL at UCFB Etihad Campus to BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance students last year, I was given the opportunity to not only attend the event, but to also present to attendees.

Armed with...

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In Focus: The future is now – AR and VR development in the sporting world

UCFB Etihad Campus student Carolin Boldt recently attended the Digital Sports Manchester event at Media City, where she learnt about the evolving augmented and virtual technologies being introduced to sports fans around the world. Here, Carolin, who studies BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism, tells us more…

Dan McLaren, founder of Digital Sport UK, is working in the field of technological development in the sporting world. So far, top of the agenda of digital sport is using the new technologies for fan engagement...

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In Focus: Managers and the press should be best friends – Neil Silver

Neil Silver, UCFB’s Head of Employment and Enrichment, and a football journalist with decades of experience covering the game, has highlighted why it pays for a manager to have good relations with the press…

Don’t fall off your chair when you read this, but football managers and football journalists really should try to become best of friends.

On the whole, there is too much suspicion of journalists from managers – although that suspicion is sometimes not without its foundation.

Like every walk of...

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Ground-breaking book exploring primary physical education by UCFB’s Gerald out now

A new book exploring physical education at primary level, edited by UCFB’s Dr. Gerald Griggs, is now available.

The Routledge Handbook of Primary Physical Education goes further than any other book in exploring the specific theoretical and practical components of teaching physical education at primary or elementary school level.

Led by UCFB Etihad Campus Head of Academics Gerald, and Dr Kirsten Petrie of the University of Waikato, New Zealand, the book sees contributions from over 30 leading international primary PE specialists from academic...

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In Focus: When worlds collide – England v Brazil to light up Wembley Stadium

Brazil make their third trip to the new Wembley Stadium this week to take on England in a glamour friendly tie, as both sides step up their World Cup preparation ahead of next summer’s tournament in Russia.

Ahead of the game we sat down with proud Brazilian and UCFB Wembley’s Gustavo Spanholi, programme leader for BA (Hons) International Football Business, to discuss both countries chances next summer, and the issues affecting each nation on and off the pitch…

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In Focus: The English Premier League is experiencing a textbook case of hyper-inflation – Josh McLeod

By Josh McLeod, lecturer in BA (Hons) International Football Business at UCFB Wembley

The big summer transfer headline belongs to Neymar and his record-breaking £198m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. But, by anyone’s standards, the spending across English Premier League football clubs has been similarly jaw-dropping. With £40m fees now commonplace, last year’s record-breaking spend of £1.165 billion is almost certain to be smashed again before the transfer window closes on August 31.

This season marks 25 years since the Premier League began and transfer...

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